Monday, May 20, 2013

Unity Day in Cameroon

Some of you may be old enough to remember that this area in Africa used to be called “the Cameroons.  That’s because the French colonized the west and north granting independence in 1960.  The British colonized the south allowing it to become a federated state within Cameroon in 1961.  

In 1972 the two were combined into one country on May 20, so this is a national holiday known as Unity Day.  (By the way, the church in CAR recognizes this as a work holiday for the Monday of Pentecost.  Maybe the church in Cameroon does, too.  I don’t know.) 

There is, of course, a parade with school students, the Lutheran Bible School, and other organizations that get uniforms made from the same material – often with patriotic writing on it. 

Just before the parade, some people got medals for working certain numbers of years.  I couldn’t hear much of this part because I decided not to sit in the reviewing stand, but to stay “on the ground” to get better pictures (and to leave early – I still don’t like parades much!)

It was a beautiful sunny day with some clouds, but HOT!  The parade itself didn’t start until about 11:45 – going into the hottest part of the day.  I stood in the shade of a tree as much as possible.  The Cameroonian Red Cross was there to pass out water and assist as needed.  I also saw some people with Red Crescent vests.

This last picture shows one school getting ready to march – with all the road construction trucks/machines that are supposed to be in CAR finishing the road.  Another casualty of the insecurity. 

Happy Unity Day!

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